Dear Members,

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and July 4 celebration.

June was again a busy month for USA Weightlifting. Clearly highlighted by CJ Cummings winning his 4th consecutive World Championships (2 x Junior, 2 x Youth) and later winning the U.S. Olympic Committee Athlete of the Month Award. Overall the USA Junior World team did very well with our Women finishing in 4th place overall, our best team placement in over a decade anchored by stellar performances from Maddy Myers (San Diego, CA – Invictus Athlete Weightlifting) and Jourdan Delacruz (Wylie, TX – Power & Grace Performance).

While our Juniors were representing us in Tokyo, back in the USA we had a very exciting National Youth Championships. More than 800 athletes took part in the largest Youth Weightlifting event in history worldwide. We saw a large number of American Records fall at what is my favorite competition of the year. We see the future stars of our sport at this event, those who will wear the USA singlet at World Championships and Olympic Games to come. Some highlights included Noelle Toro-Strickling (Auburn, WA - Auburn Strength & Conditioning) taking down a 14 year old Clean & Jerk record while Youth World Championship medalist Nini Manumua (San Francisco, CA – Hasslefree Barbell) bettered the clean and jerk record set by current World Championship team member and multiple time international medalist Marissa Klingseis (St. Joseph, MO – Wesley Weightlifting). We also announced the 2017 Pan American Youth team who will travel to Colombia after qualifying at this event. Thank you to all of our coaches who recruit and train this very important age group, it is the future of our sport.

Away from the platform, the membership and board approved new bylaws. The bylaws are the governing document of our organization. This long process saw large upgrades in the way we govern our organization especially in the area of gender equality, as well as aiding transparency and safe sport measures for our members. At the same board meeting, several improvements to our SafeSport program were approved by our Board of Directors. These improvements continue to create a culture of safety in our sport especially for our Youth athletes. I encourage parents, coaches and even athletes to familiarize themselves with SafeSport resources and how to report issues via the US Center for SafeSport.

Together with partners at the city of Anaheim, CA we were awarded the 2019 IWF World Youth Championship to be held in the same venue as our 2017 IWF World Championships (get your tickets HERE). At the same Executive Board meeting, the International Weightlifting Federation convened two review boards to help shape the future of our sport, one for anti-doping and one to reinvigorate our sport program.

We launched a partnership with the National Federation of High School Associations to further participation in High Schools. As I mention above, getting more youth under a bar is unquestionably one way we can bring the US back to the top of Weightlifting. It will take a large group effort to make this happen.

USA Weightlifting is currently 53% of the way to our annual fundraising goal set forth by the USOC! If USAW raises $41,000 we will receive $20,000 from the USOC AND be eligible for next years matching grant program! Every dollar you give to support the athletes of USA Weightlifting will go towards the goal and help us continue providing financial support to the Strongest Athletes in America! To support Team USA, visit our donation portal here.

As we reach the end of Quarter 2, we will once again publish a financial update in the next few days to further aid transparency and so you know where your money is being used by our organization.

July brings our first of two hosted international competitions as we travel to Miami from July 21 to compete in the Pan American Championships (you can get your tickets HERE). This competition carries extra importance as our team performance, together with the same competition in 2018, will determine how many athletes we may send to the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. Right after that, we’ll see the American Open Series 2 contested.

This month we will welcome a new membership assistant to USA Weightlifting to improve our membership response times together with a program management position to support Coaching Education. Stay tuned! 

 

Phil Andrews
Phil.Andrews@USAWeightlifting.org